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Soler homers again in a Luzardo start and the Marlins beat Angels to begin series

Jesus Luzardo made it known a few starts ago that he owes Jorge Soler dinner.

Why?

Seemingly every time Luzardo is on the mound, Soler hits a home run.

Well, it happened again on Friday, with Soler sending a near middle-middle Reid Detmers changeup a projected 425 feet to straightaway center field in the third inning of the Miami Marlins’ 6-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium to begin a three-game series.

The Marlins improve to 26-26 on the season. The Angels fall to 28-24.

The home run was Soler’s team-leading 16th of the season, MLB-leading 11th this month and fourth in as many games. Soler’s four-game home run streak is tied for the second-most in Marlins history, behind Giancarlo Stanton’s franchise record of six set in 2017.

“Soler has been on fire really the whole year,” said Marlins manager Skip Schumaker, who pregame noted that Soler is “just becoming a more complete hitter.”

It was also his 10th home run this season in a game when Luzardo starts on the mound. Soler has at least one home run in eight of Luzardo’s 11 starts this season, including a pair of multi-home run games.

“I think it’s just luck,” said Soler, who is hitting .467 (21 for 45) in 11 games when Luzardo starts this season.

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo (44) throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Angel Stadium.
Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo (44) throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Angel Stadium.

As for Luzardo, he held the Angels to one run over five innings. He scattered seven hits and issued one walk and struck out seven. The only run he allowed came on a Mike Trout two-out single in the fifth that scored Chad Wallach.

In two starts at Angel Stadium with the Marlins, Luzardo has struck out 19 strikeouts and allowed just two runs over 10 innings of work.

On the season, Luzardo has a 3.67 ERA through his first 11 starts. He has pitched at least five innings and held opponents to three runs or fewer in five of his past six starts and in eight outings overall.

And as for that dinner Luzardo owes Soler? Luzardo said that’s coming Saturday and will be at a California delicacy.

“We’re going to In-N-Out,” Luzardo said. “He can get as many double-doubles as he wants. He’s getting as much In-N-Out as he can eat.”

Soler didn’t want anything else?

“Only In-N-Out,” Soler said with a smile. “I’m fine with that.”

Bryan De La Cruz’s big game

Outfielder Bryan De La Cruz was involved in four of the Marlins’ runs scored Friday.

It started with a pair of small-ball innings.

In the second De La Cruz had the first of three consecutive base hits, moving to second on a Yuli Gurriel single and scoring on a single from Jean Segura to give the Marlins an early 1-0 lead.

And then in the sixth, that same trio of De La Cruz, Gurriel and Segura had back-to-back-to-back hits again — with Segura dropping a bunt that rolled all the way down the third-base line and touching the bag — to load the bases before Nick Fortes followed with a fourth single to score De La Cruz.

De La Cruz capped his showing with a two-run home run to right-center in the seventh.

De La Cruz finished the night with four hits, his second four-hit outing in the past five games.

Luis Arraez capped scoring for the Marlins with an RBI single in the eighth.

Yuli Gurriel milestone

With two hits on Friday, Gurriel now has 900 in his MLB career. He is the fourth-quickest Cuban-born player to reach 900 career hits, doing so in 831 games. Only Jose Abreu, Tony Oliva and Rafael Palmeiro did so in fewer games than Gurriel.

Gurriel has hits in all five games he has played on this road trip, posting a .571 batting average (12 for 21).

Jesus Sanchez starts rehab assignment

Outfielder Jesus Sanchez, who has been on the injured list since May 14 with a right hamstring strain, began a rehab assignment with the Triple A Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp on Friday. He went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts while starting in right field.

Sanchez was hitting .290 with a .914 on-base-plus-slugging mark on the season when he went on the injured list. He was on a 14-game run in which he was hitting .390 (16 for 41) with 10 extra-base hits (seven doubles, three home runs) before the hamstring injury popped up.

Sanchez is the first of three key Marlins players to start a rehab assignment in the coming days. Fellow outfielder Avisail Garcia (back tightness) is slated to join Sanchez in Jacksonville on Monday. Meanwhile, left-handed pitcher Trevor Rogers is set to start a rehab stint with Single A Jupiter next week.

Left-handed pitcher A.J. Puk (elbow nerve irritation) is also scheduled to throw a 20-pitch bullpen session on Saturday.